UNDP delivers more supplies for Havana tornado victims

Some 2,125 personal and 700 double mattresses, which will benefit 3,525 people, were donated to Cuba by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), in the continuation of its support to families affected by the tornado that affected several municipalities of the Cuban capital at the end of January.

The warehouses of the Provincial Company of Supplies and Transport (Emprosut), subordinated to the Council of the Provincial Administration (CAP), were visited by Soledad Bauza, UNDP's assistant representative on the island, and Wilfredo Cobas, a specialist from the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment.

Bauza told ACN that 3,525 sets of sheets and an equal number of towels have also been purchased, which will arrive in Havana in the next few days and will complement the mattresses now received, as well as 1,850 kitchen kits, all this aid with funds from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

After the tornado, the UNDP immediately made available to local authorities two thousand tarpaulins for roofs, recalled the official, who announced that within a month will arrive in the country a thousand modules of tiles of 75 square meters, which will be installed by the government of the capital, which already has the structures to fix the roofs, he said.

Upon being interviewed by ACN, Cobas pointed out that from the very first moment of the catastrophe, the aforementioned United Nations agency accompanied the Cuban government in the identification of priorities, with a view to providing support with resources such as those mentioned above.

Both the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment and Olivia Méndez, CAP official in Havana, thanked UNDP for its valuable help on behalf of the authorities and people of the Island.

With more than 40 years of experience in recovery actions in Cuba, as happened after the passage of hurricanes Sandy, Matthew and Irma, the referred UN Program has accompanied the Cuban government under the premise of "rebuilding better", with emphasis on housing, in addition to contributing goods for the benefit of affected communities.

The tornado of January 27th caused total collapses in more than 500 houses, not counting the thousands partially affected in roofs and walls, and the damaged socioeconomic facilities, in the municipalities of Regla, Guanabacoa, Diez de Octubre, La Habana del Este and San Miguel del Padrón.

Thanks to the will of the State, a large part of these buildings have been recovered and the intention is to make them better than they were.


  • Published in Cuba

30 Million Latin Americans Risk Sliding Back into Poverty, UN Warns

PANAMA CITY – The economic slowdown and lack of consistent public policies could send between 25 million and 30 million people back into poverty in Latin America, the United Nations Development Program, or UNDP, said Tuesday in a report.

The report, titled “Multidimensional Progress: Well-being Beyond Income,” found that the public policies implemented a decade ago, focusing on education and job creation, helped reduce poverty but did not eliminate social inequality.

Today, these policies are inadequate because the labor market is saturated and government spending has reached its limit in the region, where a substantial number of informal sector jobs exist, the UNDP said.

The policies implemented in the past decade did not create a resilient economy, with about 40 percent of Latin Americans now vulnerable to adverse situations, such as an economic recession, a natural disaster or a health crisis.

“We run the risk of a setback in the social progress achieved over the past 10 years,” Jessica Faieta, assistant administrator and director of the UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, said during the report’s presentation.

Between 2003 and 2013, “the region’s social, labor and economic pyramid was transformed” when 72 million people were lifted out of poverty and 94 million people moved into the middle class, Faieta said.

This trend, however, has been reversing itself over the past three years, the UNDP report said.

As a result, for the first time in a decade, there has been an increase in the number of people in absolute poverty, a term defined as those living on less than $4 a day, the UNDP said.

UNDP chief economist and report author George Gray said Latin America had been “very innovative in the past 15 years” in terms of social and labor policies.

Further use of the same policies aimed at increasing the gross domestic product “will not necessarily reduce poverty or inequality more, or at least not at the same pace as in the past,” Gray said.

  • Published in World
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